Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Drones, Citizens, and the End of Human Rights

Throughout the past few weeks, there have been many events and decisions involving United States Constitutional Rights and Human Rights. There was an inspirational stand for the rights of U.S. citizens when Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) began his 13 hour filibuster nearly two weeks ago. Paul began his filibuster due to President Obama considering nomination John Brennan for the position of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and for the lack of transparency from the Obama administration on it's drone program, specifically the killing of Americans inside the border of the United States. Paul's filibuster focused on one particular message: the principles of The Constitution. The Constitution, limits on executive power, and speculation that the Obama Administration has appointed themselves as "judge, jury, and executioner" of American citizens fueled Paul's 13 hour speech. Senator Paul made it clear that the purpose of his call to action was not fueled by political affiliation and had nothing to do with President Obama. Paul's principle is one that we as a nation cannot "give up on the Bill of Rights, the 5th Amendment protection that says that no person shall be held without due process, that no person shall be held for a capital offense without being indicted." Current drone policy calls for an Executive Office judgment relating to whether or not a presiding issue is a material "imminent threat" to the United States. This judgment and corresponding use of drones on US soil "does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. citizens will take place in the immediate future." What qualifies as an imminent threat? Is the government using drones to spy and gain information on its own citizens? This question deserves an answer from Washington. The American people deserve a clear statement from the President that contains reasoning, including the balance between national security and due process, limits of executive power and distinction between treatment of citizens and non-citizens within and outside the borders of the United States, the use of lethal force against American citizens, and the use of drones in the application of lethal force within United States territory.

After Paul's lengthy call for Constitutional Rights and the rights of American citizens, I believe that he succeeded in bringing attention to the integrity of the Constitution and the integrity of our government standards and regulation. In conclusion, Paul highlighted "that the use of drones to target American citizens on American soil who pose no imminent threat clearly violates the Constitutional right to due process of American citizens."

No comments:

Post a Comment